Old mare whose eyes
are like cracked marbles
drools blood in her mash
shivers in her jute blanket.
My father hates weakness worse than hail;
in the morning
he will shoot her in the ear, once,
shovel her under in the north pasture.
leaving the stables
he stands his lantern on an over-turned water pail,
cursing her for a bad bargain,
and spreads his coat
carefully over her sick shoulders.